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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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GIANT STEPS (OR MOTHER, MAY I?)

THE LEADER POSITIONS HIMSELF APPROXIMATELY 200 FEET FROM
THE CONTESTANTS ALONG A SIDEWALK, ADDRESSING HIMSELF
ALTERNATELY TO THEM. HE SAYS, "YOU MAY TAKE THREE BABY
STEPS," FOR EXAMPLE. BUT THE KID MUST ANSWER, "MOTHER
MAY I?" AND RECEIVE IN TURN A "YES, YOU MAY!" FROM THE
"MOTHER." A "NO, YOU MAY NOT," AND NO ADVANCEMENT.
THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF STEPS ALLOWED IS LEFT TO "MOTHER'S"
DISCRETION. THERE ARE BABY STEPS--SHORT HEEL TO TOE
STEPS; GIANT STEPS, LARGEST STRIDES POSSIBLE; UMBRELLA
STEPS--STEPPING WHILE SPINNING ABOUT; BANANA STEPS--
STEPPING WHILE SLIDING THE FEET ON THE SIDEWALK.
FIRST TO (REACH) MOTHER WINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; SOUTHWEST

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime

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